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All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked

Updated November 5, 2019 19.2k votes 1.5k voters 8.3k views69 items

List RulesVote up the ROTY winners based on their overall NBA careers.

Of all the NBA Rookie of the Year winners, there has to be a single best. Sure, each and every winner of the sought-after award can be considered the best in their own right, even if it's just for their rookie season, but how do they all stand up against each other? Year after year, we see the top rookies fight for the title, whether that's by being a leading point scorer or a powerhouse on defense (or both). But do they get better each year? Does the ROTY from 50 years ago compare to any of the top current NBA players? That's up to you fans to decide. 

From first winner Don Meineke in 1953 to 2017 ROTY Malcolm Brogdon, who are the best NBA Rookie of the Year winners? While Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have proved themselves far past rookies, you still have to consider other all-time NBA greats who won the award, such as Larry Bird and Wilt Chamberlain—lest we forget the GOAT Michael Jordan. Clearly, determining the best ROTY of all time is certainly no easy decision. 

Nevertheless, here's a list of NBA Rookie of the Year award winners, ready to be ranked by you. Vote up the best players and keep in mind, someone is going to take the last spot as the worst ROTY, so vote accordingly. 

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  • 1
    Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    896
    253

    Michael Jordan

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age56

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    TeamsWashington Wizards, Chicago Bulls

    1984–85

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  • 2
    Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    658
    202

    AgeDec. at 63 (1936-1999)

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Warriors, San Francisco Warriors

    1959–60

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  • 3
    Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    503
    143

    Tim Duncan

    Power forward, Center

    Age43

    BirthplaceChristiansted, United States Virgin Islands

    Number21

    1997–98

     

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  • 4
    Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    585
    181

    Larry Bird

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age63

    BirthplaceWest Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana, United States of America

    TeamsBoston Celtics

    1979–80

  • 5
    Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    632
    212

    Age47

    BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat

    1992–93

     

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  • 6
    Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    512
    174

    Allen Iverson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age44

    BirthplaceHampton, Virginia, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

    1996–97

     

  • 7
    LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    808
    310

    LeBron James

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age35

    BirthplaceAkron, Ohio, United States of America

    Number23

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    2003–04

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  • 8
    Oscar Robertson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    401
    124

    Oscar Robertson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age81

    BirthplaceCharlotte, Tennessee, United States of America

    TeamsCincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks

    1960–61

  • 9
    David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    358
    117

    Age54

    BirthplaceKey West, Florida

    1989–90

  • 10
    Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    444
    179

    Kevin Durant

    Small forward

    Age31

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    Number35

    TeamsBrooklyn Nets

    2007–08

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  • 11
    Vince Carter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    325
    128

    Vince Carter

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age42

    BirthplaceDaytona Beach, Florida, United States of America

    Number25

    TeamsAtlanta Hawks

    1998–99

  • 12
    Derrick Rose is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    539
    248

    Derrick Rose

    Point guard

    Age31

    BirthplaceUSA, Chicago, Illinois

    Number1

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    2008–09

  • 13
    Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    297
    115

    Age57

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    TeamsOrlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

    1985–86

  • 14
    Damian Lillard is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    316
    135

    Damian Lillard

    Point guard

    Age29

    BirthplaceOakland, California

    Number0

    TeamsPortland Trail Blazers

    2012–13

  • 15
    Chris Paul is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    297
    135

    Chris Paul

    Point guard

    Age34

    BirthplaceWinston-Salem, North Carolina, United States of America

    Number3

    TeamsOklahoma City Thunder

    2005–06

     

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  • 16
    Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    214
    91

    Elgin Baylor

    Small forward

    Age85

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    1958–59

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  • 17
    Lew Alcindor is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    275
    139

    Lew Alcindor

    1969–70

     

  • 18
    Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    216
    100

    Grant Hill

    Small forward

    Age47

    BirthplaceDallas, Texas, United States of America

    Number33

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons

    1994–95

  • 19
    Jason Kidd is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    247
    123

    Jason Kidd

    Point guard

    Age46

    BirthplaceCalifornia, United States of America

    Number5

    TeamsDallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets

    1994–95

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  • 20
    Kyrie Irving is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    388
    220

    Kyrie Irving

    Point guard

    Age27

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

    Number2

    TeamsBrooklyn Nets

    2011–12

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  • 21
    Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    198
    91

    Chris Webber

    Power forward, Center

    Age46

    BirthplaceDetroit, Michigan, United States of America

    TeamsWashington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons

    1993–94

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  • 22
    Blake Griffin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    211
    124

    Blake Griffin

    Power forward

    Age30

    BirthplaceOklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Number32

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    2010–11

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  • 23
    Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    183
    104

    Pau Gasol

    Power forward, Center

    Age40

    BirthplaceBarcelona, Spain

    Number16

    TeamsPortland Trail Blazers

    2001–02

  • 24
    Bob Pettit is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    145
    79

    Bob Pettit

    Power forward, Center

    Age87

    BirthplaceBaton Rouge, Louisiana

    TeamsMilwaukee Hawks, St. Louis Hawks

    1954–55

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  • 25
    Rick Barry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
    139
    74

    Rick Barry

    Small forward

    Age75

    BirthplaceElizabeth, New Jersey, United States of America

    TeamsNew York Nets, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Warriors

    1965–66

     

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